Speaking on NBC Sports Boston’s Post Game show following the Celtics’ 93-113 loss to the LA Clippers, Kendrick Perkins sent a strong message to Joe Mazzulla, warning him that a loss to the Lakers would result in a wave of new pressure and criticism.
“When you have these prime-time matchups and the world is watching, and we’re waiting to see what you’re gonna do if you’re gonna get the best outta your players, if you’re gonna hold them accountable. This is a measuring stick. I’ll tell you what, they got a game tomorrow against the Los Angeles Lakers, ok? And if Bron and AD go out there and do what Klay and Steph did, and what Kawhi and Paul George did, and the Celtics take a loss to the Lakers, Mazzulla will feel what the end of the world feel like from the Boston Celtics fans…You gotta take these matchups personal, I know it’s still a long season, but as the Celtics family and the fanbase, we’re not trying to hear none of that,” Perkins said.
Over the past month, the Lakers have seen some legitimate improvements courtesy of Anthony Davis’ MVP-caliber performances and Russell Westbrook adapting to a bench role, so the Celtics will not be in for an easy game against a Los Angeles team that’s fighting to get back into the playoff picture.
Mazzulla’s Post-Game Comments Led to Perkins’ Warning
Perkins’ comments regarding Mazzulla came in response to the Celtics head coach’s post-game press conference shortly after Boston’s loss to the Clippers, where he had stated that losing a game can’t be seen as ‘the end of the world.’
“I think sometimes, constantly keeping perspective is good in the long run. And understanding that it’s a long year and you’re going to have ebbs and flows. Every time we lose a game, it can’t be the end of the world, and understanding that, yeah, it sucks to lose, but at the same time, we’ve gotta figure out what we’re doing well and where we can get better. And then how we build habits along the season,” Mazzulla said.
The Celtics now boast a 21-and-7 record, so, while their last two games have not been what fans are used to seeing from this team, it’s clear that this is just a tough moment for a team that is more than capable of correcting itself and getting back to winning ways in the near future.
Grant Williams Sounds Off on Celtics’ Level of Play
When Grant Williams spoke to the media after the Celtics game against the Clippers had reached its conclusion, he discussed the regression we’ve seen from the team throughout their last two games.
“You know, it kinda reminded me a little bit of last year; we got a little stagnated, we didn’t do our job…We have to get back to who we are, playing the way we wanna play, and having fun out there…We know how much talent we have, we know the capabilities of this team. But in order for us to really take a leap and be special, be great, we have to, even when things aren’t going our way, we did that the first 12, 10 games of the season, but we have to do a good job of staying honed in on what we want to accomplish,” Williams said.
If the Celtics want to avoid losing their third straight game, they will need to rediscover the ball and player movement that made them so difficult to guard in recent months; otherwise, the Lakers could be adding another victory to their win record, and that wouldn’t sit well with Celtics fans around the world.